SpaceX continues to pay multimillion-dollar bills for the use of Starlink in Ukraine to support its people in the fight against the aggressor. The company's and Elon Musk's supporters want to sponsor partial bill payments to help Starlink and Ukraine.
The situation in Ukraine continues to be very difficult. Russia is attacking the country and its infrastructure, depriving Ukrainians of access to water, electricity, and communications. From the very first days of the aggressor’s attack, Elon Musk was one of the first to provide vital assistance to Ukraine. His SpaceX is one of the private companies providing the largest support to Ukraine. The head of SpaceX began delivering Starlink to the country, which became critically important, as the aggressor destroyed or jammed communications, depriving the military of the opportunity to coordinate their actions. After the start of the war, work on preparations for the opening of Giga Berlin was temporarily suspended because its employees were preparing hundreds of Starlink kits for delivery to Ukraine.
SpaceX paid for thousands of Starlink kits and their preparation at its own expense. In addition, various countries, including Poland, which provided the largest number of kits—as well as private investors and funds—also bought thousands of terminals for immediate transfer to Ukraine. Today, there are about 20,000 Starlinks in the country, most of which use 100 times more data than typical households, and all of them need millions of dollars to keep them running. SpaceX is responsible for the bills for this use.
While some of the terminals have indeed been purchased and paid monthly by individuals and organizations, there are thousands more that are provided by—and whose service is paid for by—SpaceX alone. According to Musk, at the moment, the company has already spent about $80 million in the past months and the cost of paying for the service for Ukraine is approaching $20 million a month. Thus, the company's bills for maintenance, which includes not only terminals, but also launches, maintenance, and replenishment of satellites and ground stations, payment to telecom operators for Internet access through gateways, fell only on itself. In addition, SpaceX is constantly fighting against Russian cyberattacks and jamming, which requires financial support. This one also delays the development of the company and jeopardizes its plans, which upsets a lot of SpaceX supporters around the world.
SpaceX is a young but extremely ambitious company. In addition to creating reusable rockets that have drastically reduced the cost of each launch, therein shaking up the aerospace industry, the main goal of SpaceX is to make humanity a multi-planetary species. The company spends billions of dollars on research and development to achieve this.
Its Starlink division is even younger and far from profitable, Musk explained. The monthly burning of millions of dollars to support the Internet for Ukraine is a really heavy burden that jeopardizes the company's development. That is why it turned to the US government to take on further costs for this service to Ukraine, without asking to cover coats already incurred for the last six months. For this, Musk has faced undeserved and unjustified criticism.
An important remark is that other US defense contractors receive billions of taxpayer dollars from the state treasury, while SpaceX does not. Yet, only SpaceX covers the costs of assistance to Ukraine, without reimbursement, meanwhile providing a critically important link: communication. However, this fact has been deliberately ignored and in fact, the company has even faced criticism.
Musk, realizing that regardless of whether SpaceX supports Starlink in Ukraine at its own expense, many people will continue to express their dissatisfaction, he made a decision that came from his heart. On October 14, he tweeted that despite the injustice and the fact that Starlink continues to lose money, the company will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.
The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 15, 2022
Elon Musk and his SpaceX are an inspiration to millions of people around the world. All of them wish the company prosperity and therefore expressed their readiness to help financially. Dozens of people approached me with an offer to crowdfund or in any other way raise money to partially pay bills for Starlink for Ukraine. The organization of such operations always requires the involvement of third parties, which is associated with additional risks. My friend and Teslarati journalist Johnna Crider came up with the idea that people could transfer money directly to Starlink if the company created the functionality to do so. A lot of people who support SpaceX, Elon Musk, and Ukraine have supported this idea, which could be a good signal.
This is a great idea! So people who want to help Ukraine will be sure that they are really helping. Providing Internet access for Ukraine, and especially for the military, is critical.— Eva Fox 🦊Claudius Nero’s Legion 🐺 (@EvaFoxU) October 15, 2022
As such, the idea would be that SpaceX could launch a standalone subscription, with a small monthly payment of $5-10, or a custom amount, for all those who wish to help the company pay Starlink bills for Ukraine. Johnna and other supporters of the company sincerely hope that Starlink will take advantage of this idea and open up the possibility of helping each other together.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.